Thursday, April 25, 2013

Making a Difference One Woman at a Time

There's a growing concern regarding the chemicals being placed in our family’s lives.  It seems that we are fighting a war in every area from the food that we eat, to the air that we breathe, and the clothes that we wear in our ability to keep chemicals out of our lives. These chemicals aren't just a danger to us, they're a danger to the environment as a whole.

According to Commerce Energy, “up to 97% of the pollution in this country is caused by our polluting power sources.”  However, one person can make a big difference in helping cut down the environmental and familial dangers of chemicals just by making a few small changes.

The most simple of these changes are those that take place within our very own living spaces.

In our home, we can make a drastic change starting in the family room. Start by turning off lights and electronics when you're not using them and replacing light bulbs with energy efficient compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs. Next, we can cut down on energy usage by replacing light switches with dimmer controls. 

Next stop is the kitchen. This room is loaded with appliances. Energy Star rated appliances cost a little more but you will save money in the long run.  Even better, most of the energy-saving appliances are tax deductible in the form of green energy tax credits. After switching to more efficient appliances, the next task is to use smaller appliances such as your microwave, slow cooker, or toaster instead of using the stove, which consumes a lot more energy. Turning off the high-temperature settings and allowing dishes to air dry in your dishwasher is another quick and easy way to cut energy costs and reduce your carbon footprint. 

Now to the bathroom. Water heaters are one of the most energy-consuming appliances we utilize on a daily basis. A great start is to begin budgeting for an energy efficient water heater but if that's not in the budget, insulating your water pipes is a good start. By insulating your pipes, it enables them to retain the heat within them thus reducing the workload required to heat water from room temperature. A low flow shower head is another budget friendly addition and it'll not only conserve water, but save you a few bucks on your utility bills. 

How about the laundry room?  Special racks in your basement allow you to hang dry your clothes to conserve energy use.  Another option is in the warmer months during spring and summer hang a line outside. This uses no energy from fossil fuels and it's incredibly efficient, not to mention cheap.

When our children are grown they'll look back on the decisions we made today in either a positive or negative light. Wouldn't it be nice to know that we made a difference and positively impacted their future. 

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